Chat with AJ Mass
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AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
Super Bowl Sunday is but two days away, pitchers and catchers packing their bags for the trip South, "On the Bubble" finding its way into the sports section again -- plenty to talk about for the next hour... ESPN Mock Draft quibbles? You're in the right place. Second cup of coffee in hand... who's up first?
HI AJ, who would you take as your 4th pick if Pujols, Hanley, and Miguel are taken?
AJ Mass (11:01 AM)
If I'm sitting there, I'm taking Carl Crawford.
Franklin (Santa Cruz)
AJ, does Alex Rios go 20/30 this season and finish as a top 10 OF? It seems like everyone stays away from the guy because of what he did in Toronto, but he had a great year last season. Does he duplicate it? Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
OF is deep at the top, so I'm not sure if he ends up 10th, but certainly is a player I want on my team in the 5-8 round neighborhood.
would you keep aramis ramirez if it meant giving up your 6th round pick?
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
I think that's around the going rate, so it's a fair price. If you don't think you can get someone earlier...
Hello AJ. All good on your side of the internet?
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
As far as I know... but if not, I am sure the "commenters" will let me know.
What do you project for Starlin Castro? Do you seeing him growing into power as he gets older?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
No power - don't think he can make it to .300 - more of a glove than a bat. Great fro Chi-town, bad for fantasy.
I was just checking to see how you were this fine morning, not talking about technical issues.
AJ Mass (11:09 AM)
Me, too. Just playing around -- I could say I'm feeling fine, and 100 folks would e-mail me and say I don't know what I'm talking about -- "it's OBVIOUS AJ Mass is under the weather." LOL.
Alex (New Orleans)
Do you see Meek or Dotel getting the closing gigs? If so, how many saves would you see for each?
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
Have to think Meek has the better shot as there's too much competition (and price tag competition) for Octavio to have much room for error. Ballpark? 20-25 for Evan, 10-15 for Dotel.
Any shot of Gardner moving to the top of the order in NY? Would his SBs go up if he did move?
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
9th or 1st -- all that it will do is give him more PA, so in that sense, a few extra SB, yes. But his style of play isn't changing.
Franklin (Santa Cruz)
Carlos Marmol. Everyone talks about his walks, which are a big concern, but the guy does not give up hits. He only gave up 40 hits in 77 innings pitched, and his whip was a very respectable 1.19 with 138 K's. That sounds like a guy that could possibly be the #1 closer in the game, and he's only 28 years old. Do you see Carlos Marmol as an elite closer in the Brian Wilson/Heath Bell territory or are the walks too much of a concern for you? Thanks
AJ Mass (11:16 AM)
The category isn't HIP, it's WHIP. It doesn't really matter to me how they get on base, only that they do. Don't get me wrong, he's my #2 closer on the board (after Bell) for 2011. He's got some obvious control issues -- but perhaps that's what makes him so "scary" and effective.
Who are your top 5 pitchers this year. Obviously Doc is your first, but who are the next 4?
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
My top 5 are Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Adam Wainwright, Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander.
AJ, in your mock you took BJ Upton over the likes of Victorino and Pence who went quickly after your pick. What do you see in BJ that made you take him? Do you see this year as the year he puts it together? The guy almost went 20/40 last year which is incredible when you consider he hit like .230.
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
I was actually the one who took Victorino in the next round. Basically, I wanted two of the three, and our mock draft is different than many since we just spent two days debating all these players. I knew I wouldn't get BJ if I didn't take him there and possibly would have (and did) get one of the other two, both of whom I like a little better.
Which Adam Lind is the real Adam Lind- 2009 version or the 2010 version? What do you see for his line this year?
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
That whole Blue Jays team was incredibly unlucky and as a group seemed to be unusually allergic to LHP. It was just a strange year and one I can easily dismiss as an anomaly. I'd draft him in the mid-rounds.
bear (the woods)
In a keeper league with a max 5 year contract, how early would you select matt wieters?
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
I'm not likely to draft any catcher any earlier than Round 12, and I'm not going any earlier simply because I might be able to keep a so-so fantasy position for years to come.
AJ, I have Suzuki at C in a 10 team dynasty league. I'm cautious since Oakland's lineup isn't very strong. Would you make a move for another mid-tier catcher like Napoli or Soto? Or will Suzuki be able to produce?
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
Piggybacking on the last question... catcher after Mauer is meh at best. You can get Kurt Suzuki, who I happen to like, way late in the draft. Now, if you want to make a one-for-one deal for Napoli, I'd probably do it...but I like Napoli tons this year. But to "give more" in a deal? I'd stand pat.
Who would you choose as a final keeper out of this group considering that position doesn't matter at all? Heyward, Morales, Kinsler, or Verlander?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
If position doesn't matter, I go with the man I predict will win the AL Cy Young.
AJ, do you think the position change will have any effect on the amount of AB's Michael Young gets? 3B gets shallow quickly, but I seem to get Young in all my mocks in rounds 6-8. Am I overpaying for him in that range, or will he get enough AB's to put up a similar line to last season? Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
I don't see why it should effect the number of ABs he gets... if anything, a move to DH might keep him healthier.
Buster Posey (SF)
Catching after Mauer is meh at best?!? Apparently you haven't heard of me. I turn water into wine and heal the sick. But, can I go .300/20/85 this season to warrant his lofty draft position??
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
I like Posey's potential too, but to draft him in the 3rd Round as some people are doing? I'm not going to do that... so I'm already leaving Buster to someone else.
Do mock drafts really help? Is there any proof of it?
AJ Mass (11:35 AM)
Help what? If you mean do you have a better chance of winning by taking part in mock drafts, I'd say no. But they do help you see where other people might be valuing players and where you differ greatly. If you know you're much higher on a guy than most, you can then likely wait longer on them (and still get them) than you would going into your league's draft cold.
Are you with Tristan in believing that fantasy leagues should drop Wins as a category and use QS instead? Seems like the right thing to do.
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
I agree that it's the stat we use in the fantasy game that says the least about how well a player did on the field. I'd probably like to use a QS + "zero runs allowed outings" if it were possible.
Brian (NY, NY)
Is there a position battle in Boston at SS between Lowrie and Scutaro? Why don't those Idiots just go w/ Lowrie?
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
Because Lowrie has more value by being the flexible guy -- playing all over the infield, 4-5 times a week and giving each regular a day off. If Scutaro has a bad April, I think Lowrie takes over, but overall Marco's stats haven't warranted a change.
Adrian Gonzalez (Boston)
There are alot of people jumping on my bandwagon and hoping for a .320/45/125 season out of me now that i've left the black hole that is Petco. Are they going to get it?
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
I'd hedge a bit on those numbers - my own take is that he's more of a top 25 than top 10. As such, I won't be owning him in too many leagues, I fear.
2B HELP!!!! K. Johnson or N. Walker in a 5x5 keeper? Both have career years last year, or can either build on last season? Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:43 AM)
Kelly's HR will probably fall a bit, but otherwise, his stats seem legit. Walker has some pop, but seems lost on the bases. Personally, I like Kelly more...
Tom (West Palm Beach)
In a deep league does Scott Sizemore have any value?
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
How deep? Maybe 10 HR and a handful of steals... we're barely talking No. 2 2B in a 16-teamer.
kemp for an 8th or heyward for 11th?
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
Kemp is the better value here for 2011.
What to do AJ if you already have W and QS for categories...what would you replace W with?
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
I wouldn't replace it -- I'd lose it. You probably have too many categories as it is.
What about grady sizemore? Do I just stay away?
AJ Mass (11:50 AM)
No, you don't stay away -- he's certainly worth a late pick. If he can stay healthy 20-20 is certainly still on the table.
Am I crazy to think that Jay Bruce could possibly outproduce Votto this year?
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
Power numbers, sure it could happen. Average-wise and speed, I'd be surprised.
Ryan (Dayton) [via mobile]
Aj would you take a late round flier pick on volquez in a 10 team mixed or let him slip through to the wire and see how he starts the year? He looked solid closing out last season...
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
I personally try not to leave the table with any extra pitching. It's always easier to find arms on the wire than position players. Stash the rookie bats. But if you're rounding out your rotation, 15 wins isn't too shabby.
Brian (NY, NY)
Who are some late round OFs you're targeting?
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
Austin Jackson, Dom Brown, LoMo, Jennings.
Brian (NY, NY)
Juan Pierre, Rajai Davis, or Michael Bourn?
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
Bourn by a hair over Pierre.
Franklin (Santa Cruz)
AJ, going back to what you said about Grady Sizemore, who would you rather take a flyer on, Sizemore or Carlos Beltran?? I think they both have 20/20 potential, but which one reaches it. Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
Gonna say Grady. But keep in mind, I'm a Mets fan and that colors this call.
Steve (Blacksburg, VA)
What are you expecting from Beltre this season?
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
I'd take him in the 6th Round. 25-100.
Chris Sale worth a flier in 24th round?
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
Could get the closer job, and if not, he'll still K plenty. This is exactly the kind of 24th Round flier to take... it's not like he won't pitch.
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
That's the final whistle for this week. We've got more video clips from our Fantasy Meetings on the way, and I'll be back on Monday for another chat. Until then, there's the Twitter... Good luck, and may the odds be EVER in your favor.